Posts Tagged ‘preschool’

Yesterday I had the rare opportunity to take Turner to his preschool on the bus. The day before I had unfortunately gotten a flat tire on our brand new minivan after picking up the kids from school. It wasn’t fun having to sit at the gas station for an hour with 3 kids waiting for roadside assistance, but with the car’s DVD player and the one granola bar I managed to find in my bag, we somehow made it through.

So anyways, Larry wanted to take the car in to the dealer early in the morning so he wouldn’t have to deal with waiting in line, which meant I would be car-less for morning school drop offs. I borrowed a car from a friend to take Christopher to his carpool ride and then decided I would take Turner to school on the bus so that I could go straight to the car dealer afterwards to retrieve our car. Turner couldn’t be more excited to go on the big public bus. For the first few weeks of school he would look longingly at the yellow school buses parked in front and always ask me if he would get to go on them. Berkeley public transit may not be the same as a yellow school bus, but in the eyes of a 3 year old, it’s just as exciting.

We walked the couple of blocks from our house to the bus stop and waited for only about 5 minutes before our bus pulled up. I instructed Turner before getting on that he should say “Good morning” to the driver, and he did just that as we ascended the steps. I asked him where he wanted to sit, and he said, “in the caboose!” so we marched to the back of the bus and plunked down in two empty seats by the window. As the bus pulled away and as we watched the streets of the city flash past us, I was suddenly transported back to my childhood. I did most of my growing up in New York City and taking public transportation was a huge part of my life. I think as early as 4th grade I was already taking the public bus to school on my own and in junior high and high school, I had to take two buses everyday to school. I have fond memories of me and my friends gallivanting all over the city with our free school bus passes. It’s a little shocking to me now as a mom to think of how much freedom I had back then as a kid.


Waiting at the bus stop


Sitting in “the caboose”


As the bus curved its way through downtown Berkeley, I looked out the window with my son and noticed things I had never seen before. Turner and I took turns pointing things out to each other, people we saw walking down the streets, things we saw in shop windows. Before we knew it, we were at our stop. I pressed the stop requested button and both of us hopped out the back door and took our time walking the four blocks to his preschool. He was as happy as a clam…and I was too. I don’t think I would trade in the convenience of a car for taking public transportation every day, but it was nice not to be the one behind the wheel for one morning. And it was also nice being able to share a slice of my childhood with my son.







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CC’s preschool teacher told me at our last parent teacher conference that I should try to assign him some jobs that he can do around the house. My first thought was, “What kind of job can a 3 year old do?” All his attempts to “help” me in the past haven’t exactly been that helpful and would usually result in me cleaning up some mess or other. But for the sake of his development, the teacher told me that it would be good for him to feel useful and be given some responsibilities.

So now I look for every opportunity to put my toddler to work and I’ve discovered that 3 year olds can actually do a lot! I’ve been underestimating my son all along. Of course, I’ve also learned it’s important to not give him jobs that are too challenging because it usually leads to frustration and CC tends to deal with frustration by throwing things and screaming. But amazingly, he’s proved that he can do a lot of things which are actually helpful to me in the running of our little household.

In case you have a 3 year old at home you can employ too, here are some jobs I’ve found that are good for preschoolers:

  1. Dressing himself – he doesn’t do it everyday, but some days CC likes to be able to pick out his own clothes and put them on himself. Just make sure you give your child plenty of time (not 10 minutes before you need to leave for school). And as long as it’s weather appropriate, you have to be okay with his/her fashion choices (even if it is a red wool sweater vest over a fireman T-shirt).
  2. Helping out in the kitchen – instead of plopping your child in front of a video so you can cook dinner, try involving your child in the cooking process. When CC was little I used to put him in his high chair and have him watch while I pretended to be hosting my very own cooking show. Now I try to find little things he can do to help to keep him occupied. Here are some things my little sous chef is getting really good at (they’re also great for developing fine motor skills):
    • mashing potatoes
    • peeling garlic
    • snapping the ends off green beans and asparagus
    • beating eggs
    • sprinkling cheese on casseroles20130204-150720.jpg
  3. Cleaning – arm your kid with a rag, small dustpan and broom, or a feather duster and let them go crazy!
  4. Gardening – what kid doesn’t like to play with dirt? Enough said.
  5. Community service – every Saturday morning our church has a cleaning/service time where we come together to clean the meeting hall followed by a delicious brunch together. CC loves this time. He usually likes to help out with the gardening, but I think I’ve finally found the perfect job for both of us. We go around and pick up the trash on the sidewalks around the meeting hall. CC loves to use the special trash picker upper and has become quite adept at it even though it’s almost as tall as he is. We always get a lot of smiles from people passing by. 🙂





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Sorry I let the whole month of August slide by without a single post. I’m still getting used to being a mother of two and juggling a toddler and a newborn doesn’t leave one much time to write. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t leave one much time to shower, or sleep, or clean…you get the picture. With crying kids, greasy hair, sleep deprivation, and a messy apartment, blogging has been kind of low on my list of priorities. I’m sure you understand.

This summer has been a whirlwind for us, beginning with Turner being born, grandparents coming and going, and one of the busiest summers ever in terms of our contact with students on campus. Turner has had an exciting first two months. So far he’s been to the city twice, been on a camping trip where he got to sleep with mama in the back of a minivan for two nights, stayed  in a hotel, and gone on a mini road trip to Modesto. I’ve become quite a pro at nursing him on the go – on the Bart, on the floor of a department store, at the beach.

Now that things have settled down a bit, I’m so glad to finally return to some sort of normal routine again. While it was wonderful to have our parents come out to help and not have to cook and clean for a month, I’m actually happy to once again regain dominion over my kitchen, albeit a very messy one. So yes, a new semester means back to school, back to structure and back to normality. And I don’t just mean the beginning of a new college semester. Did I mention that CC started preschool this year? He started last week and loves it. I think I love it more though. For me preschool means three (more like 2.5 with commute time) glorious hours of freedom every morning. I’m still trying to figure out how I can best maximize those few precious hours.

In the past few days after I’ve dropped CC off at school,  I immediately feel like I’m in an iron chef competition racing against the ticking clock to get everything done – grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry, etc. But the Lord has been faithful to remind me of what’s most important and that if I love Him like I say I do, then I would spend at the least 15 minutes of those precious 2.5 hours with Him. Last week I went to Ikea after dropping CC off only to find that it didn’t open for another half hour. But their cafe was open and was serving free coffee. That was a reminder from the Lord to slow down, put my shopping list away and just be with Him. So I sat down with a cup of decaf and enjoyed a sweet date with Him in the Word.

All in all, it has been a pretty good transition from one to two. There are days when I get frazzled and feel like I’m at the end of my rope, like when neither kid will nap or if they do nap, not at the same time. Or when I have to choose which child to attend to and which one to leave crying. But every time I hold our son Turner, I’m reminded that I need to be a turner…someone who turns again and again to the Lord. I’m learning that to get the timely help, I need to come forward to the throne of grace (Heb. 4:16). So for those of you who were wondering…we’re doing okay. We’re enjoying grace, and at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.

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